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Top U.S. skier okay after crash

Don't rule Lindsey Kildow out of these Winter Games just yet, or even out of Wednesday's downhill event. Despite a scary crash that got her airlifted to the hospital on Monday, the St. Paul, Minn., native hasn't given up any of her starting spots.

"Lindsey is doing remarkably well considering the high-speed crash, and the initial on-scene reports," her agent, Sue Dorf, said via e-mail Monday night. "We'll know a lot more about her condition (today)."

The Americans' top-ranked downhiller was training for Wednesday's downhill event when she crossed her skis just before going airborne at the top of a jump, said U.S. Alpine coach Jesse Hunt. Her fall was so severe, spectators and competitors collectively gasped.

Initial reports were sketchy, and there was a rumor that she had broken her back. But U.S. Alpine ski team physician William Sterett said the damage was limited to severe bruising on her hip.

"At this point there doesn't appear to be any other injuries," he said. "She's pretty banged up and she's pretty sore, but she's in good spirits and doing pretty well."

She remained at a hospital overnight for observation. Sterett said no decision on her participation can be made until at least today.

Kildow was unavailable for comment.

"Until we tell her she absolutely can't race, she's not going to rule it out," Sterett said.

Kildow, 21, is the world's No. 2-ranked downhiller and expected to compete in four races: the downhill, giant slalom, super-G and combined.

"Right now she hasn't ruled out the possibility of racing as early as Wednesday," Sterett said. "She's not given up her spot at this point. We're going to have to see how she does tomorrow. It's encouraging that her CT scan and X-rays are normal."

Kildow was one of three skiers to be taken off the hill on toboggans after crashing Monday, including defending gold medalist Carle Montillet-Carles of France, who was released Monday evening after hospital tests came back negative. But U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association spokesman Tom Kelly said there have been no complaints about the course.

Kelly said Kildow's mother, Linda Krohn, was in route to Italy on Monday.

Kildow's injury comes less than two weeks after teammate Kristina Koznick, the top-ranked U.S. slalom skier from Eagan, Minn., partly tore a knee ligament when she was surprised by a drop on a casual warmup run in Germany.

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